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Based at HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, the Joint Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) headquarters is responsible for the overall provision of a coherent and effective UK GBAD capability. This includes Rapier Field Standard C and counter- indirect fire sense, warn and intercept capabilities and provision of air situational awareness to the land environment. At present, the Army’s organic High Velocity Missile capability remains within the Army chain of command and sits with CRA 1 (UK) Armd Div. The headquarters holds 16 Regt RA and the Joint Air Picture Provision of the Land Environment (JAPPLE) sub-unit under operational command and is supported by 106 Regt RA (V). As the focal point for UK GBAD, the headquarters also has close links with 12 Regt RA and the Royal Marines close air defence troop. This briefing provides an overview of our contribution to current operations and an insight into the activities of 16 Regt RA and JAPPLE during 2010.


The headquarters’ main effort remains support to current opera- tions, particularly the automated sense and warn deployments to Kandahar Airfield, Main Operating Base Bastion and Forward Operating Base Shawqat, and provision of situational awareness to HQ Combined Force Helmand at Lashkar Gah and to the Joint Helicopter Force Afghanistan at Bastion. In addition to operations in Afghanistan the JointGBADheadquarters has a battery (minus) from 16 Regt RA deployed permanently to the Falkland Islands providing a 24/7, all weather GBAD deterrence and protection capability to Mount Pleasant Airfield. In Afghanistan, the forward area air defence command and

control node has been replaced by the Land Environment Air Picture Provision (LEAPP) command and control node at most locations, providing afully automated sense and warn capa- bility utilizing either the WAVES or Giant Voice alarm systems. Additionally, the headquarters has taken early delivery of three Giraffe agile multi-beam sensors, lead elements the LEAPP equipment programme, two of which are currently deployed on operations.


16 REGTRA 16 Regt RA remains committed to operations. One battery is permanently supporting force protection operations in Afghanistan, providing an automated sense and warn capability to Kandahar Airfield, Camp Bastion and FOB Shawqat. Soldiers deployed on this task are responsible for operating and coordinating complex surveillance radars and control processors in order to provide early warning of incoming rocket, artillery and mortar attacks. Timely warning allows personnel to take cover and significantly reduces the risk to life for coalition personnel. Not purely a Gunner commit- ment, the deployment is supported by a REME fitter section and


a RAF tactical radar operator. Concurrently, a battery equipped with Rapier FSC is stationed permanently in the Falkland Islands. Deployed in its core role, it provides a GBAD capability to Mount Pleasant Airfield. A sense of ‘Ubique’ abounds. When not deployed, soldiers of 16 Regt RA have been engaged

in a variety of training and support activities that ensure military skills remain finely tuned. Of note, the regiment recently won a gold medal in the arduous Cambrian Patrol Competition and took home nine of 10 available pieces of silver from the Royal Artillery Skill at Arms Meeting, with 10 soldiers making onto the list of the Army’s 100 best shots. The regiment has also managed to contribute teams to Nordic and Alpine skiing competitions and found time to cycle from Lands End to John o’Groats, raising over £7,500 for a number of service charities. Soldiers have also undertaken adven- turous training expeditions to Chile (trekking), Spain (kayaking and climbing), Germany (parachuting) and Austria (skiing).

JAPPLE JAPPLE delivers situational awareness to HQ Combined Force Helmand through provision of a Link 16 air picture and manage- ment of the Helicopter and Ground Assets Tracking System. When combined, the Link 16 and tracking systems display a comprehen- sive picture that vastly improves situational awareness to the land component. Since 2008 there has beenapermanentJAPPLEpresence in support

of Op HERRICK. Ateam of eight, split between MOB Bastion and Lashkar Gah provides the Joint Helicopter Force Afghanistan and HQCombined Force Helmand with a24-hour air picture from ground radar and air platforms. In addition to this permanent presence, the unit is able to deploy mobile capability forward to support deliberate operations. To date, JAPPLE has deployed operators to Sangin, Now Zad, Nad Ali, Babaji, Garmsir and Musaquala. The complex nature of the equipment and high technical skill required to operate it, means it is imperative that JAPPLE operators display initiative, high levels of self- motivation and the ability to resolve technical issues with minimal supervision. Trainees are mentored until they can confidentlydeploy as self- sufficient data link opera- tors, capable of thinking on their feet and providing an exceptional service to various headquarters. Within the UK, JAPPLE is fully committed to supporting mission rehearsal exercises and other exercises that require the delivery of air situational awareness to commanders.

106 REGTRA (V) See Territorial Army, page 44.

An aptly-named Giraffe radar manned

by 16 Regt RA helps to protect Kandahar Airfield

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